If you thought your New Year’s revelries were over for the next 12 months, think again! Chinese New Year is Jan. 23, and around the world billions of people will celebrate the arrival of the 4,710th year in the Chinese calendar.
Anything that’s been around for that long probably has some wisdom to impart, don’t you think? Here are a few timeless tidbits of Chinese wisdom – and our thoughts on how they can apply to your financial life as you celebrate Chinese New Year:
- Count not what is lost, but what is left – This one may be particularly appropriate if your investments had a rough time in 2011! It may also ring true for you if you indulged in some overspending this past holiday season. Instead of dwelling on where you’ve gone wrong with your money management, focus on what you can do right in the future.
- Fortune has a fickle heart and a short memory – Your financial life will always have highs and lows. If you leave things to chance, you’ll face more lows. Engage in smart financial planning, and you can maximize the highs.
- Do not wait until you’re thirsty to dig a well – This one was practically coined to educate us on retirement investing. If you wait until you retire—or just before—to set aside money, you’ll be thirsty during your Golden Years.
- Only time and effort brings proficiency – Money management is like anything else you want to do well: you have to work at it and practice to perfect your technique.
- The saving man becomes the free man – This one is easy to interpret. By building up your savings in the form of an emergency fund, you can free yourself from financial worry when disaster hits.
And finally, this gem from Confucius, the famous Chinese philosopher:
Learning without thought is naught; thought without learning is dangerous. In financial terms, this one is a cautionary proverb. You’ll find no shortage of information to learn when it comes to money management. But in order to make that information work for you, you need to always be thinking about how to put your money to the best use.